Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Final Loose Ends (for a while)

Two really fast, over-simplistic reactions to the dual withdrawal of Rudy and Edwards --

The "moderate Republicans" who Rudy was looking for are now either independents or Democrats.

The "Reagan Democrats" and "the angry White males" that Edwards was looking for are now all Republicans.


You see a lot of palpable anger on the Republican side that there are no "true conservatives" left in the race.

I would also say that a less publicized fact is that neither Clinton nor Obama is any liberal's idea of a liberal.

Clinton has a very conservative record on the military and foreign affairs. Whatever her motives, the record is what it is. I don't really expect her to leave Iraq in the end, and that is one of the reasons I continue to support her candidacy. Being married to a teacher, of course, is one of the other big reasons. Obama's lack of interest in issues of global warming and the environment is another reason (so far he looks at it as a great opportunity to use coal in unsafe ways). The fact that I may be the only person left standing who supports Bill Clinton is yet another.

Obama, like Lincoln, may seem short on actual political resume, but, like Lincoln, he has been an Illinois insider for about 20 years. A lot of Obama's support comes from big business interests -- especially coal -- in Illinois. Obama is a mainstream poliitican -- and I don't mean a mainstream liberal -- with his finger in the air as much as anyone else.

The only radical thing about Obama is his background and upbringing. Although, I admit, that is pretty radical. I expect it is far too radical to win a general election.

Obama, like Lincoln, is the best speech maker of his generation. He, also like Lincoln, may still be both evolving and pulling his punches at this point of his political career. (Lincoln famously said next to nothing during the 1860 Republican campaign, and even less during the 4 month period from election to inauguaration when the South was seceding.)

As it stands now, though, I stare in amazement over the warmed-over message Obama delivers to a "fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, same on me" nation.

And what is that message?

"I am a uniter, not a divider."